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Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Rules for Disappearing
Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Honestly, when I went in to read this one, I thought it sounded cute. However, I really didn't have very high expectations. I thought it might be kind of a fun, light read to pass the time, and because I knew the concept would be so difficult to execute I was nervous about seeing how it would be done. Happily, however, The Rules for Disappearing exceeded all of my expectations and quickly became a favorite.

Obviously her name isn't actually Megan–it's just the current name she chose for herself–but giving away her actual name would be way lame, so I'm not going to do that, even though it feels really weird to call her Megan now. So anyway. I really like her. She's strong but she's also vulnerable, and very much a teenager. She keeps to herself and doesn't really want to open up to anyone when she knows she'll just leave again. Despite this, part of her still craves human company and she wants to confide in someone. She also ruthlessly searches for the truth. She was kind of annoying sometimes, but I let it go for the most part.

Ethan is sweet; he's the strong, local farm boy who instantly can tell there's more to Megan than she's letting on. He doesn't let her avoid him and he drives her to dig harder for the truth she's been wanting to find. He's very loyal to her, and he stands up for her even against his old friends. I liked his courage, and I really admired the way he didn't let her push him away. He really works hard to gain her trust.

A plot like this could so easily be overdone. It involves the Witness Protection Program and a girl who seems to have gaps in her memory. Yet, it never felt that way to me. Oh, yes, it had flaws. But being overdone was certainly not one of them.

From the very beginning, I was drawn into the plot. There always seemed to be this idea tucked away, an inkling that there was something we were missing, that didn't really get explained until very far into the book. The whole mystery aspect deepened the thriller aspect and made it that much more exciting and intriguing.

I loved the way Ethan supported Megan throughout her journey. He supports her from the beginning and gets her to put her faith in him, and he doesn't abandon her when some of the darker secrets from her past begin to surface. Instead, he stays right there beside her and even really comes through for her when she realizes what she has to do.

My main complaint is that some components of this book are awfully predictable. There was one thing in particular that I guessed at the beginning of the book and that should just never happen. There was at least one other significant thing too that I figured out early on so some of the suspense was really ruined for me. It didn't reveal everything, and it didn't keep me from loving the book, but it definitely affected me.

So, overall, I don't have any complaints other than that of predictability, which bothered me a lot less in this book than it probably should have. Eh.

The love story here is honestly adorable. There is literally no other way to describe it. It is absolutely, purely adorable and I love it hardcore. It actually develops and there's a lot of mistrust, suspicion, and hurt before they really learn to love each other. It's a very realistic romance and I think that's what really drew me to it so much. I do feel Ethan maybe put up with a bit more than any normal guy would have but hey. It's totally excusable.

My favorite part about this writing is the way Megan's voice matures throughout the book. At first, she comes across as rather childish and only near the end does she really start to mature. Seeing that progress directly was amazing. I also love the way everything is described. I could practically smell the pizza parlor, see the acres of farm stretching on. It was all so vivid and gorgeous. I do think the dialogue could have used some work but honestly, it was still marvelous.

I loved the ending. When I read it, I wasn't sure if this was a standalone or a series. For a standalone, the ending was gutsy but I would've loved it. Even so, I was relieved when I found out there was a sequel in the works. The ending is most definitely a cliffhanger and ominous without being cheesy. It was honestly the best ending and I really liked the way it was messy, because that was exactly how it needed to be.

So, yeah, though I didn't expect to, I really loved this book. I don't mean that in a bad way. I really loved this book, and I will definitely be adding the sequel to the list of books I absolutely must have. Now, who would I recommend this to? Honestly, there's really no one I wouldn't recommend this to. It's fast-paced and brill and the romance is cute and something I think most people will enjoy. So go on, give it a shot.




  1. Aww fabulous review! I felt exactly the same way! I hoped this book would be good but I think I enjoyed it more than I expected!

    I think the only thing I disagree with you on is the ending. I didn't hate the ending, but I didn't particularly like it either. I kind of feel like the book might be better as a standalone.. but I'll still read book 2 of course. :)

    So glad you loved this book as much as I did!

  2. Fantastic review as always, Annabelle! I'm so glad that Megan and Ethan were great characters, and that Megan matures throughout the book, because it seems that it's so easy for that to get lost somewhere along the way! The plot sounds fantastic and original as well, even if it was slightly predictable, and I'm swooning over the romance already. I want to read it even more now just for that killer ending :)

    I'm glad you loved this one!

  3. I have thought that this one looked awesome every since I first read the summary, I am definitely going to be reading this one very soon and I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it which also makes super excited to start it!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  4. I'm going to read this one by the end of the week and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I though it'd be some cute, easy-going contemp, so it's good to know it's more than that. Though I'm a little hesitant knowing that it has a cliffhanger ending but I still can't wait to read it.
    Fabulous review :)

  5. Eek.. it's predictable? I like to make lots of guesses when reading, and I hate spoiling myself. Lol. If that's the case, maybe I'll pass on it. Or maybe I'll read it but it won't be one of my "must-read-it-right-now" books. Glad you liked it though. (: Great review as always!

    Little Book Star

  6. Oh, this one sounds like a really good book! I've had it on my TBR list, but I wasn't that interested in reading it pronto, but you've piqued my curiosity. Glad you enjoyed this book!

    Millie @ Millie D's Words

  7. Like you, I didn't have high expectations for this book. Not until I started reading reviews for it, especially yours! Now, I am genuinely incredibly excited for this book. It sounds really good, and I can't wait to try it on for size for myself!


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